Fall 2019 Course in Global Thought “Diaspora and Transnationalism: Critical Reflections on the Politics of Homeland”

The Committee on Global Thought is pleased to announce our Fall 2019 Seminar in Global Thought “Diaspora and Transnationalism: Critical Reflections on the Politics of Homeland” (CGTH GU4100).

The number of international migrants worldwide has continued to grow over the past decade, reaching 258 million in 2017, up from 248 million in 2015, and 220 million in 2010. Poverty, war, and political exclusion are among the most significant reasons for the sharp rise in migration, though less distressing motivators, such as economic opportunity and family members abroad, continue to contribute to shifts in global demographics. This course examines one of the long-term outcomes of global demographic shifts – the establishment of transnational and diasporic communities throughout the world – through case study examinations of specific populations, including Jews, Armenians, Palestinians, Africans, and Tamils.  Common themes of lived transnationalism, including loss, collective memory, and longing within host nations will animate our exploration of cultural productions, political claims, and the cultivation of inalienable connections to homeland that generate political and affective communities. What is at stake is the way that nations are decreasingly defined by the physical boundaries between populations, and increasingly defined by the shifting allegiances of communities in motion.

The seminar is open to all Columbia and Barnard undergraduate and graduate students.